Kerr Outraged Over Hobbs Veto Of Public Safety Bills

Kerr Outraged Over Hobbs Veto Of Public Safety Bills

By Daniel Stefanski |

An Arizona state lawmaker is expressing outrage over the governor’s decision to veto one of her public safety bills.

On Thursday, Senator Sine Kerr issued a press release to highlight Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs’ “harmful veto of a bill requiring sex offenders convicted of dangerous crimes against children to register on the state’s sex offender website.”

The bill that elicited Kerr’s attention was SB 1583, which added “that a level one sex offender who commits specified sexual offenses is required to register on the internet sex offender website if the offender was sentenced for a dangerous crime against children (DCAC).”

Senator Kerr’s release revealed that there was “loophole in state law, which currently only requires some offenders who have been convicted of sex crimes against children to be listed on the sex offender website if they are considered at high risk of reoffending,” and that “those who are considered least likely to reoffend (level one offenders) may not be required to be listed on this website” – estimated in the thousands by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Hobbs, in her customary veto letter to the Senate President, explained her decision, writing, “State law already requires offenders that are deemed the most dangerous to be published on the Arizona Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Information website. DPS will continue to ensure this information is readily available to the public.”

The governor added that she looks forward “to continuing to work on legislative solutions to keep Arizona families and communities safe.”

Kerr vehemently disagreed with Hobbs’ justification and accused the state’s chief executive of being clueless when it comes to this issue, stating, “The lack of understanding from Governor Hobbs is a serious threat to the safety and wellbeing of all Arizona families with children. My bill would have armed parents, schools, churches and community centers with a digital tool of notification, transparency and awareness in order to prevent these offenders currently not listed on the website from further victimizing our kids. Hobbs’ veto letter, which she erroneously wrote to the wrong Senator, shows she doesn’t have a clue what’s going on with sex offender tracking in our state.”

In her statement, the senator also discussed the safety ramifications of this loophole and bemoaned the partisan nature of this bill, saying, “Right now, if a parent signs their child up for a sports team, and that coach was convicted of committing a dangerous sex crime against a minor but is not considered likely to reoffend, that coach may not be listed on the website. When the parent searches the site and doesn’t see the coach’s name pop up, they are given a false sense of security that their child will be in good hands. Protecting our children from sexual victimization should not be a partisan issue, yet all Democrats in the Legislature voted against the bill and our Democrat Governor vetoed it.”

Senator Kerr vowed to bring back this effort next session “so that we stop protecting sex offenders and start protecting children.”

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.